Skip to main content

Local Pennsylvania Communities Preserving Historic Signs

Decades ago, Pennsylvania had a unique way of marking towns and other geographical features on its highways. Cast iron signs which featured the town name and a historical anecdote about the town were found throughout the Commonwealth. Fortunately, many of these 'Keystone Town Markers' still exist today.

Some though are not in the best of condition - and in some areas local civic groups are doing their best to restore them.

One such group is the Pine Creek Preservation Association in Lycoming County. Recently, Jim Carn of the PCPA repainted and restored a handful of Keystones in the Pine Creek Valley.

All photos were taken by Jim Carn (unless otherwise noted).

Ramsey Run:

Here's the original (from David Slauenwhite)- you can see that the 'Ramsey Run' was hand painted - most likely many years ago.

Here is the 'restored sign' by Mr. Carn. Fresh colors and bold letters makes a big difference.


Roaring Branch:

Here's the original (from David Slauenwhite) - The paint is beginning to fade away.

The restored sign:

Waterville:

Original sign (taken by David Brunot):

The restored sign taken by Mr. Carn.

Not only are local community groups trying to preserve these historic signs, Nathaniel Guest and Preservation Pennsylvania are trying to bring back the Keystone Town Markers. Guest is working on a project to source the manufacture and funding for 'new' town markers for municipalities whose signs have been long forgotten.

In the recent Preservation Pennsylvania newsletter, Guest's quest to return these signs in the commonwealth was featured.

Both the PCPA and Nathaniel Guest are doing great work to preserve the uniqueness of Pennsylvania towns and transportation histories! And who knows maybe these old Keystones will not be a forgotten piece of Pennsylvania highways in the years to come!

To see more Pennsylvania Keystone Town Markers - Visit my Keystone Town Markers Project.

Comments

Steve A said…
I've found quite a few more in my various travels across the state. Many have no paint left and are rusted solid. Also, many are on side roads that have long since been bypassed. Not only do I support restoring them, but for a minimal amount of money I support moving them to today's thoroughfares wherever possible.

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley

I went to Buc-ee's and came away unimpressed

Buc-ee's, the Texas-sized gas station and convenience store that started in Texas, has been expanding its territory.  New locations have sprung up in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  Construction is underway, or plans are in place for even larger stations in Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Colorado . For nearly four decades, Buc-ee's was a Texas-only novelty.  The first location opened in Lake Jackson, Texas in 1982, and another four stores opened over the next decade.  In 2000, Buc-ee's began its Texas-sized growth by adding over 20 new stores - mainly around Houston, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Austin/San Antonio areas.   Each store was built larger - with more gas pumps, amenities, and offerings.  The store became well-known for its clean bathrooms, fresh-cut brisket sandwiches, and wall of beef jerky.  Texans and visitors from all around would take road trips to visit new stores or get their Buc-ee's fix.   Buc-ee's has billboards advertising thei

The original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh

Firebaugh is a city located on the San Joaquin River of western Fresno County.  Firebaugh is one of the oldest American communities in San Joaquin Valley having been settled as the location of Firebaugh's Ferry in 1854.  Traditionally Firebaugh has been served by California State Route 33 which was one of the original Sign State Routes announced during August 1934.  In modern times California State Route 33 is aligned through Firebaugh on N Street.  Originally California State Route 33 headed southbound passed through Firebaugh via; N Street, 8th Street, O Street, 12th Street, Nees Avenue and Washoe Avenue.  The blog cover depicts early California State Route 33 near Firebaugh crossing over a one-lane canal bridge.  The image below is from the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which depicts the original alignment of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh. Part 1; the history of California State Route 33 in Firebaugh The community of Firebaugh is named in honor of Andr